SEVERAL POSITIONS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS (and others)*: Urban forests – towards adaptation to global change

Despite a large proportion of the population living in cities and the recognized importance of urban forests in providing benefits to people, we still know surprisingly little about them. In a future with more frequent and intense heatwaves, urban trees will be key in ensuring the livability of cities. Urban planning must also account for social inequities. Finally, while most cities across Canada have plans to plant thousands of trees, few have measurable objectives in terms of desired benefits (such as a reduction in air temperatures) and a plan to face global change challenges. Without better guidelines, these noble and expensive planting efforts may fall short of desired outcomes. Our ambitious project will provide working answers to these challenges, while developing novel techniques to sample and track change in urban forests, and knowledge towards adaptation to global change.

The project has identified four main research objectives contributing to the overarching goal of adapting urban forests to global change. We are seeking to train scientists (MSc and PhD mostly, but also undergrads and postdocs) with a passion for people, cities and urban trees to work on:

  • Increasing our capacity to survey all urban trees; (3 positions)
  • Understanding why trees die in the urban environment, how they cope with stress and interact with soil biodiversity, and how they perform in stormwater control measures; (4 positions)
  • Modelling response and drafting adaptation strategies; (1-2 positions)
  • Mobilize knowledge to concerned stakeholders. All students and researchers will work together with partners to achieve this very important task.

Selected candidates will contribute to an interdisciplinary project led by an expert team of researchers from different universities, and partners from municipalities, private companies, and non-profits, thus broadening their professional network. Internships with partners and between universities will be strongly encouraged.

Prospective students should contact us (paqlab@uqam.ca) with the following information: letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three references. Informal inquiries are welcome. Please don’t hesitate to share any career interruptions or personal circumstances that may have had an impact on your career goals. Positions may be at UQAM, Concordia or UdeM in Montreal, or UofT in Toronto. Flexible start dates, but some as early as the Fall 2022 or Winter 2023 terms (others may start later). Full scholarship and support such as French language classes and maternity leave is offered. We want happy people.

Think you’re out of luck because of your background, a disability, or the way you dress? Relax, we don’t care, because innovation is born from diversity. Our team offers an inclusive, equitable, respectful, healthy, and openminded work environment – because we work there too! An exceptional opportunity to join a young, dynamic and welcoming research group!

This project is lead by Alain Paquette, Tanya Handa, and Dan Kneeshaw from UQAM, Carly Ziter from Concordia, Danielle Dagenais and Jacques Brisson from uMontréal, and Danijela Puric-Mladenovic from uToronto, as well as a large team of collaborators.

*This is an early call for recruitment. All positions are pending research funding approval.

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Postdoctoral Position on Epigenetic Changes as a Mechanism for Mammalian Population Cycles at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

I seek a highly talented, engaged, enthusiastic postdoctoral fellow to investigate epigenetic (methylation) changes in snowshoe hares from two population cycles.

Study background: No mammalian population increases without limit. One of the fundamental questions in population ecology is: what are the factors that regulate and limit animal populations? Population cycles in small mammals (3-4 year cycles in voles and lemmings) and snowshoe hares (9-11 year cycles) occur throughout the northern hemisphere and have been studied for over 100 years. They have given us deep insight into the roles of food limitation, predation, stress, social processes, disease, and physical factors as causal mechanisms for these population cycles and for understanding population regulation processes generally. These findings may apply not just to these species, but to other vertebrates as well. In these cyclic species there is an enigma in their demography – the low phase – which can last 1 year in small mammals and 2-4 years in hares. For both, there is no obvious cause (food is abundant, predators are at low numbers, and other detrimental physical factors are absent). There is something intrinsically different about animals present at that time, even when these animals are taken to the lab. The hypothesis is that the environmental experience of the mothers during the peak and decline phases of the cycle programs their offspring through maternal effects. This signature causes these offspring to survive and reproduce poorly during the low phase. It takes one or more generations for this signature to disappear before high functioning animals again are present in the population, producing the increase phase. We hypothesize that this change is an epigenetic modification of key regulatory genes. Though extensive epigenetic work has been done on laboratory species and on humans, no such study has been done in nature on wild species that show these large scale, demographic effects.

We have collected brain tissue samples from snowshoe hares throughout the phases of the cycle and now seek a postdoctoral fellow to analyze these samples using Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS).

The postdoctoral fellow must have the following background and expertise:

PhD focusing on epigenetics, or previous postdoctoral research on epigenetics, particularly in the brain.
Experience with brain sectioning, extraction of critical samples from the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and amygdala, and DNA extraction from tissues. This is technique can be learned in my lab if needed.
Experience with library preparation, ideally RRBS.
Expertise with bioinformatics and analysis of sequencing data to determine the biological significance of the methylated regions. Note that the reference genome for snowshoe hares has been carried out by The Centre for Applied Genomics has not been published yet, but we have access to it.
• Evidence of synthesizing epigenetic patterns found to their biological causes and implications.

This postdoctoral fellow is expected to publish manuscripts in high-quality peer-reviewed journals and present their findings at national and international scientific conferences.

The position will be supervised primarily by Prof. Rudy Boonstra (Centre for Environmental Epigenetics and Development [CEED] and Centre for the Neurobiology of Stress [CNS]). This position is a 2-year appointment with a competitive salary of $55,000 CAN/year and a full benefits package.

Please contact Prof. Rudy Boonstra (rudy.boonstra@utoronto.ca) with questions.

Interested applicant should submit (1) a cover letter, (2) an up-to-date CV, (3) two recent publications demonstrating the required background and expertise and (4) contact information for three references.
Please send this material to rudy.boonstra@utoronto.ca for full consideration.
Proposed Start Date: 1 September 2022 or as early as possible.

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Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecological Forecasting of Boreal Bird Population Responses to Climate and Landscape Change

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) seeks a Postdoctoral Fellow to join the Cumming lab at Université Laval, Québec City, in collaboration with J.A. Tremblay of Environment and Climate Change Canada. BAM is a long-term, international research collaboration supporting the conservation and management of boreal breeding birds in North America. The position is offered for one year, with the possibility of extension for two or three years, conditional on performance, eligibility, and funding.

The successful applicant will be instrumental to new initiatives in population assessment and avian conservation planning for eastern Canada. The goal of this project is to evaluate the impacts of past, present and future forest management on bird populations in SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified vs. non-certified forests. This position will apply spatial simulation models to forecast species responses to forest management, anthropogenic disturbance, and climatic change (e.g., Cadieux et al. 2020Micheletti et al. 2021), in order to identify effective methods to sustain their populations. The project may also include the application of spatial prioritization methods for conservation planning (e.g., Stralberg et al. 2018). This position will work closely with a research associate who will lead the development of species-specific habitat models for forest birds (see Crosby et al. 2019 and Adde et al. 2020), and with project graduate students. This work will be integrated with BAM’s efforts to produce national and regional avian density models. The postdoc will lead the writing of manuscripts and represent the project at meetings from local to international, and to research partners in government, industry, ENGOS, and academia.

Applicants must hold a PhD in a relevant discipline, to have been awarded not more than 3 years before taking up this position. Essential qualifications include strong quantitative skills coupled with an interest in avian ecology and conservation in general, independent of disciplinary background. Significant experience with advanced statistical or computational methodologies are essential (including R programming skills, while field experience in boreal systems and experience in multidisciplinary collaborations will be assets. Proficiency in French and English, both written and spoken, is preferred.

The preferred start date is September 1st 2022, but later or earlier dates may be negotiable. Location of tenure is negotiable given current circumstances, but the preferred location is Université Laval (Québec City), to facilitate effective engagement with the growing modelling team. Relocation expenses to Québec may be covered for qualified applicants. This is a lab-based position, but some field work may be needed or can be arranged. Annual salaries are $55,000-$60,000 including benefits. Additional funds are available to cover operating, conference and publication costs. BAM and Université Laval are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace. All qualified applicants will be fully considered. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and of the University environment to apply.

To Apply:
Please provide a letter of interest, CV, an example of your scientific writing, and a list of three referees. In your letter, state HOW you meet the qualifications, and WHEN is your earliest availability. Apply by email to bamp@ualberta.ca with the subject heading “Postdoctoral Fellow in Eastern Forest and Bird Modelling”. Applications will be accepted until 30.05.2022 or until the position is filled.

FRENCH VERSION

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Post-doctoral Fellows and PhD opportunities focusing on genomic applications to caribou conservation-Trent University

Dr. Paul Wilson (Trent) and Dr. Micheline Manseau (ECCC, Trent) through EcoGenomics (ecogenomicscanada.ca), a long-term national scale program, are recruiting PhDs and Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs) focusing on genomic applications to caribou conservation. This national-scale collaborative research program on caribou conservation genomics is supported by whole-genome sequences of caribou representing diverse subspecies, ecotypes and populations, with additional genomes being planned for sequencing, and development of targeted caribou-specific loci for Population Genomic surveys of a long-term (20-year) database of samples (40,000 across Canada). The national network supporting these positions include partnerships with Environment & Climate Change Canada; Canadian Wildlife Service; Parks Canada; the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources & Forestry, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and other provincial (e.g. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan) and territorial jurisdictions (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut); wildlife management boards and Indigenous communities (e.g. the Sahtu Wildlife Management Board); and industry such as MB Hydro.

Positions may be based out of Peterborough, Ontario at Trent University or Ottawa at the National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment & Climate Change Canada. 

The following positions/projects are available:

PDF studying Demographic Parameters in caribou ranges across Canada using applications such as spatial capture-recapture (sCR); density estimation;; population modelling; and network analyses. Position requires strong quantitative skills, and experience in software development will be considered an asset.

PDF in establishing metrics for large-scale and long-term Genomic Monitoring of caribou through the implementation of sequencing technologies, e.g. high/low coverage genomes and amplicon sequencing, and development of analytical pipelines . Position requires strong bioinformatic skills, and knowledge of molecular genomic protocols will be considered an asset. 

PhDs supporting the above projects will be considered in addition to projects related to caribou ecotype dynamics in Ontario’s Ring-of-Fire region; assessment of genomic erosion in isolated caribou populations (natural and captive) and at the southern range margins of boreal caribou; and an assessment of rapidly evolving genomic elements in adaptive genes of caribou subspecies and ecotypes across Canada.

Send a Cover Letter and CV to: pawilson@trentu.ca or micheline.manseau@ec.gc.ca  

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Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge

The Ecosystems and Global Change Group led by Prof Andrew Tanentzap at the University of Cambridge (www.ecosystemchange.com) is seeking a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA).  The PDRA will join a new project funded by the NERC UKRI Changing the Environment (https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/changing-the-environment/) programme based at the Centre for Landscape Regeneration (https://www.clr.conservation.cam.ac.uk/).  The project seeks to develop nature-based solutions for the joint extinction and climate crises. It involves a highly interdisciplinary team of over 50 researchers from across 14 University Departments. The PDRA will interact with this larger team and receive additional supervision from Prof Paul Dupree (www.bioc.cam.ac.uk/dupree) and Dr Adam Pellegrini (pellegriniecologylab.com).

The goal of the post is to assess the outcomes of landscape restoration for ecosystem services and biodiversity in peatlands. The PDRA will be responsible for generating a molecular-level understanding of how microbes degrade peat and upscaling this knowledge to inform climate change mitigation. The work will centre around field-scale trials and plot-based experiments testing regenerative agriculture approaches in the East Anglian Fenlands. The PDRA will relate the composition and activity of soil microbes to molecular-level changes in organic matter composition and plant cell degradation to explain variation in greenhouse gas emissions across the study sites. The ideal candidate will be adept at integrating eDNA approaches with environmental chemistry. The PDRA will also collaborate with other members of the research programme to monitor soil biodiversity with eDNA.

The post can start immediately, and funds are available for up to 48-months subject to satisfactory completion of a 6-month probationary period. Salary ranges from £33,309 to £40,927 per year.  The successful candidate must have a proven track record of publication in leading peer-reviewed journals, ideally demonstrating innovative approaches towards relating molecular- and ecosystem-level data. They will have a PhD in biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, or a related subject.  A track record in project and team management and engagement with external stakeholders is highly desirable.

Questions about the post should be directed to Prof Andrew Tanentzap (ajt65@cam.ac.uk).

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Research Associate in Environmental Microbial Genomics – University of Cambridge

The Ecosystems and Global Change Group led by Prof Andrew Tanentzap at the University of Cambridge (www.ecosystemchange.com) is seeking a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA). The PDRA will join a new project funded by the Canada-Inuit Nunangat-United Kingdom Arctic Research Programme (https://www.ukri.org/what-we-offer/browse-our-areas-of-investment-andsupport/
canada-inuit-nunangat-uk-arctic-research-programme/
). The project seeks to develop a community-led wildlife health monitoring programme for Nunavik with a highly multidisciplinary team of 14+ Inuit, Canadian, and UK researchers, including anthropologists, epidemiologists, and veterinarians. The PDRA will interact with this larger team and receive additional supervision from Prof James Wood (www.vet.cam.ac.uk/staff/professor-james-wood-obe).

The primary goal of this post is to develop and validate novel techniques to detect wildlife diseases at a watershed-scale using eDNA/eRNA. The PDRA will be responsible for co-designing sampling approaches with Inuit partners and embedding in local communities to sample drainage waters across Nunavik. In the lab, they will use state-of-the-art genomics approaches to estimate the presence and abundance of known pathogens of concern. These estimates will be validated with targeted qPCR assays on tissue samples collected from a range of keystone Arctic species (e.g., caribou, ptarmigan, seal, beluga Arctic char) by local hunting and trapping associations. Using the sequencing data, the PDRA will also identify gene transfer events and emerging zoonosis risks.

A key objective of the project is to build long-term capacity in Inuit Nunangat research in accordance with the National Inuit Strategy on Research. The PDRA will therefore develop online training materials in bioinformatics and deliver a short course at the end of the project on the analysis of genetic sequence data at the Nunavik Research Centre.

The post can start immediately, and funds are available for up to 36-months subject to satisfactory completion of a 6-month probationary period. Salary ranges from £33,309 to £40,927 per year.

The successful candidate must have a proven track record of publication in leading peer-reviewed journals, ideally demonstrating innovative approaches in the study of eDNA/eRNA. They will have a PhD in microbial genomics, bioinformatics or a related subject. A track record of engagement with community-led science, and some experience with developing training materials, is highly desirable.

Questions about the post should be directed to Prof Andrew Tanentzap (ajt65@cam.ac.uk).

Apply at https://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/34625/ by the 13 May 2022.

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Roberta Bondar Fellowship in Northern and Polar Studies – A Frost Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship in the School for the Study of Canada

The Frost Centre invites applications for the Roberta Bondar Postdoctoral Fellowship for Northern and Polar Studies. Trent University is actively committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Trent University offers accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process or require an accessible version of a document/publication, please contact frostcentre@trentu.ca.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

The position is for a 12 month term (with an option of a one time 12 month renewal) at a salary of $60,000, plus a research allowance of $10,000. This position is aimed at recently graduated Ph.D.’s (within 5 years of graduation) with research interests in any area of Northern and Polar studies, focusing on, but not strictly limited to, Canada’s North. The candidate is expected to reside locally and participate in the general milieu of Trent and especially its Northern Studies activities. Specific duties consist of teaching one course equivalent in the area of the candidate’s specialty and two public lectures.

The Committee is targeting a start date of no later than January 1, 2023, but an earlier start can be negotiated. Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm June 3, 2022.

Information about recent Fellows is available at https://www.trentu.ca/frostcentre/bfellowship

Each application needs to include a:

  • CV of the nominee;
  • letter from the nominee indicating an expression of their interest in the position;
  • letter from a Trent tenured faculty supporting each nomination outlining what the nominee would bring to northern/polar studies at Trent, and what Trent has to offer the nominee.

Applications are to be sent to frostcentre@trentu.ca

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A POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW IN ECOLOGICAL FORECASTING OF BOREAL BIRD POPULATION RESPONSES TO CLIMATE AND LANDSCAPE CHANGE

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) seeks a Postdoctoral Fellow to join the Cumming lab at Université Laval, Québec City, in collaboration with J.A. Tremblay of Environment and Climate Change Canada. BAM is a long-term, international research collaboration supporting the The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) seeks a Postdoctoral Fellow to join the Cumming lab at Université Laval, Québec City, in collaboration with J.A. Tremblay of Environment and Climate Change Canada. BAM is a long-term, international research collaboration supporting the conservation and management of boreal breeding birds in North America. The position is offered for one year, with the possibility of extension for two or three years, conditional on performance, eligibility, and funding.

Click here

for more information.

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